Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Blaming Israel for Summer, and Other Libels

August 16, 2012 12:05 am 3 comments
Mediterranean Sea

Mediterranean Sea

You thought it couldn’t get more ridiculous than Egypt blaming Israel for shark attacks at an Egyptian beach.

And yet it has.

This July, Palestinian journalist Abdul-Hakim Salah found a way to argue that summer itself is part of the Palestinian tragedy.

In an article published by Maan News Agency, Salah bitterly gripes,

In Israel… [residents] might even fail to notice the burning heat as they move from air-conditioned homes, to cars, to workplaces. But…in Palestine –

presumably a reference to Judea and Samaria, aka the West Bank,

an overwhelming majority do not have air conditioning at home or at work, not to mention that many do not even own a car, but rely on a tired public transport system.

Meanwhile, a large portion of people who do have air conditioning would think ten times before turning it on, fearing they will fail to pay the electricity bill.

As though Israelis – and people all over the world, for that matter – don’t use public transportation, don’t ration their air conditioner usage, and aren’t concerned about electric bills!

Salah goes further,

The group that suffers most is Palestinian laborers who work in Palestine and in Israel. Most laborers have no choice but to work under the heat of the sun for at least eight hours a day, added to the couple of hours it takes to cross military checkpoints.

Again, as though Israelis – and people all over the world – don’t work outdoors under the heat of the sun for hours every day. Utility workers, farmers, open market vendors, soldiers, gardeners, athletes, tour guides, archeologists – are all of these victims, too?

But Salah has more to say:

When forecasters tell us to go to the beach, it strikes a nerve which advocates of the two-state solution may have forgotten.

If Israel ever agrees to the most ambitious Palestinian terms for a two-state solution, the West Bank will still be left without places to cool off in summer.

Flabbergasting.

Aside from the statement’s blatant falsehood – the most ambitious Palestinian terms for a two-state solution would actually leave Palestinians with a sizable portion of the cool and refreshing Jordan River – it’s absurd that Salah wishes us to pity Palestinians because the state they claim to yearn for is not bordered by a sea or ocean.

If this is the bar for victimhood, there are a few others who qualify, including Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Belarus, Macedonia, Slovakia, Mongolia, Nepal, Afghanistan, Tajikstan, Kyrgystan, Bhutan, Chad, Niger, Mali, and Zimbabwe, to name a few.

But it’s not just our unwarranted sympathy that Salah demands. You’ll notice that he singles out “advocates of the two-state solution” for criticism.

That is – and this is important – Salah wants us to believe that Israel’s demise would be an acceptable price to pay so that Palestinians could spend a day at the beach.

Forget three thousand years of history. Forget in particular the last 64. Forget international law. Forget the safety of Israel’s 8 million people and the world’s 15 million Jews.

Forget all that.

Palestinians want a day at the beach.

Do I think this is Salah’s actual reasoning? No. I have more confidence in Salah’s intelligence than that. It is our intelligence in which Salah has no confidence. He believes we will fall for this  “logic.”

He’s not the only one.

Fanatic haters of Israel use any and every pretext, no matter how outrageous and nonsensical, to portray Palestinians as victims and/or make Israel’s existence seem like a bad idea. From blaming  Zionists for the illegal drug trade to accusing Israel of “Judaizing Jerusalem” by investing millions to improve the city’s infrastructure and quality of life, there are plenty of examples that would give pause to any clear-thinking casual observer.

Such statements are nevertheless harmful in two respects:

1. Those living under governments that limit access to free and critical media tend to accept such idiocy as fact,  resulting in mass hysteria when it comes to Israel, or “the Zionist entity,” as Israel is known in such countries.

2. Even in open democracies, continually repeated lies cast a shadow – however undeserved – over Israel and its supporters.

Still, there may be an upside:

These utterly preposterous claims undermine the similarly fictitious but ostensibly more realistic allegations made against Israel. When it is so obvious that some people, organizations, and entities will go to any length to make Israel out to be Satan, regardless of reality, any rational observer must realize that their assertions of apartheid, human rights abuses, war crimes, and the like merit closer scrutiny.

And closer scrutiny invariably concludes in Israel’s favor.

3 Comments

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Music Coldplay Begins Concert With Broadcast of Charlie Chaplin’s Iconic Speech in ‘The Great Dictator’

    Coldplay Begins Concert With Broadcast of Charlie Chaplin’s Iconic Speech in ‘The Great Dictator’

    British rock band Coldplay started its set at the Glastonburg Festival on Sunday by broadcasting excerpts of the iconic speech Charlie Chaplin delivered in The Great Dictator, the 1940 political satire in which the famous filmmaker/movie star played a Jewish barber. “I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone,” Chaplin begins his address. “I should like to help everyone, if possible, Jew, Gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Sports Two Decades Before Cleveland’s First NBA Title, LeBron James Walked Onto a JCC Court

    Two Decades Before Cleveland’s First NBA Title, LeBron James Walked Onto a JCC Court

    JNS.org – The seed for the city of Cleveland’s first professional championship in a major sport in 52 years may have been planted at the Shaw Jewish Community Center on White Pond Drive in Akron, Ohio, nearly 20 years ago. That’s when a tall, lanky kid from Akron named LeBron James walked onto the hardwood court and changed the game of basketball forever. Coach Keith Dambrot, now the head basketball coach at the University of Akron, conducted those sessions that attracted […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs North American Studios Look to Israel for Next Animation Hit

    North American Studios Look to Israel for Next Animation Hit

    JNS.org – In 2008, Yoram Honig was a producer and director living in Jerusalem, fresh off his first international hit, when the Jerusalem Development Authority (JDA) came to him with a challenge: build a film industry from scratch in Israel’s capital. “When we started here, was nothing in Jerusalem,” he said during an interview in his office in the Talbiya neighborhood. Now, the Jerusalem Film and Television Fund, which Honig heads as an arm of the JDA, pumps 9 million shekels […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Sports Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas to Wear Leotard With Hebrew Letters in National Competition

    Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas to Wear Leotard With Hebrew Letters in National Competition

    Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas will wear a leotard bearing Hebrew lettering when she competes at the P&G Gymnastics Championships over the weekend. Douglas’ Swarovski-outlined outfit will feature the Hebrew word “Elohim,” meaning God, on its left sleeve. The Hebrew detailing honors the athlete’s “rich heritage of faith,” according to apparel manufacturer GK Elite, which produced the leotard and released a preview of it on Wednesday. The company said Douglas’ sister, Joyelle “Joy” Douglas, created the Hebrew design. The outcome of the P&G Championships will help […]

    Read more →
  • Europe Sports British World Heavyweight Champion Should Be Banned From Boxing for Sounding Like Hitler, Says Ukrainian Competitor

    British World Heavyweight Champion Should Be Banned From Boxing for Sounding Like Hitler, Says Ukrainian Competitor

    Britain’s world heavyweight champion, Taylor Fury, should be banned from boxing for making Nazi-like comments, a former world champion from the Ukraine said on Thursday, ahead of their upcoming match. “I was in shock at his statements about women, the gay community, and when he got to the Jewish people, he sounded like Hitler,” Wladimir Klitschko told British media, according to Reuters. “We cannot have a champion like that. Either he needs to be shut up or shut down in the ring, or […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Rabbi Shows Cooking Skills and Humor on Chopped

    Rabbi Shows Cooking Skills and Humor on Chopped

    Rabbi Hanoch Hecht just made television history; but, unfortunately, he couldn’t have his rugelach and eat it too. Hecht became the first rabbi to compete on the hit show “Chopped,” where contestants are forced to use four random ingredients in their recipes, and have 20-30 minutes to create an appetizer, a main course and a dessert. A contestant is eliminated after each round. Hecht, 32, said that while the dishes and utensils were new, the kitchen was not kosher, so he couldn’t taste […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Music Orthodox Entertainer Stars in Pepsi Max Commercial as New Face of Company’s Israel Campaign (VIDEO)

    Orthodox Entertainer Stars in Pepsi Max Commercial as New Face of Company’s Israel Campaign (VIDEO)

    Orthodox singer and entertainer Lipa Schmeltzer is starring in a new Pepsi Max commercial for the company’s campaign in Israel. The commercial begins with a bunch of Jewish men eating at a restaurant, when Schmeltzer walks in and tries to decide what to order. An employee at the obviously Israeli eatery offers him a variety of foods, but the entertainer in the end decides on a bottle of Pepsi. Everyone in the restaurant then joins him, drinking Pepsi Max and dancing to […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Book Reviews Jewish Author’s ‘Messy’ Draft Transforms Into Rock Star Novel on Amazon

    Jewish Author’s ‘Messy’ Draft Transforms Into Rock Star Novel on Amazon

    JNS.org – “Writing is a messy process,” says author Elizabeth Poliner. “People who don’t write fiction would be surprised to see what early drafts could look like.” But readers wouldn’t know “what a mess it was for the longest time,” as the Jewish author puts it, when reading Poliner’s critically acclaimed latest book, As Close to Us as Breathing. The volume garnered Amazon’s “Best Book” designation in March 2016 as well as rave reviews from the New York Times,W Magazine, NPR, […]

    Read more →